From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...When I was quite young apple butter was the breakfast spread of choice. Butter and sugar were rationed, so back in the day those wise old cooks used recipes, some of which predated colonial America, to make a highly concentrated form of apple sauce that was spreadable and could be used in place of butter on morning toast. Fruit butters are sweet spreads made of fruits that are cooked to a paste and then lightly sweetened. Apple butter has a longer shelf life than applesauce and it is a wonderful way to use the last of the apple crop. I mention this, because I came across a recipe for an apple butter cake that sounded much like the one I had as a child. In order to make it, I thought I'd put-by my own apple butter, but on reflection, I wasn't sure I wanted 12 pints of it taking up my limited pantry space. I called around and found a store that carried apple butter, so there was no reason not to give the cake a try. The recipe is simple and as close to can't fail as they come, the cake is inexpensive to make and it is perfect way to end an informal fall meal. These cakes have a tendency to be dry, so be sure to spoon the flour into your measure and level off the excess, rather than scooping it directly into the cup. I'd also advise using a liquid rather than a dry measure for the apple butter and buttermilk. The apple butter gives this cake a subtle apple flavor, but in my opinion it is more like a spice cake. I've cut back on the ground cloves that appeared in the original recipe, and have used mace to replace most of it. You can experiment with the spices until you come up with a combination that is to your liking. This is a simple cake, so I dress it up a bit by using a flour buttercream to frost it. I've shared that frosting recipe before, but if you need a reminder you can find the recipe here. Here is how the apple butter-spice cake is made. Do give it a try.
Apple Butter Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Recipe Lion
3 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1-1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1-1/2 cup apple butter
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9 x 13-inch pan.
2) Stir together flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, mace and ground cloves.
3) Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
4) Combine buttermilk and apple butter. Starting and ending with flour mixture, add flour in three parts alternately with liquid in two parts, mixing well after each addition.
5) Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack for cooling. Frost with flour buttercream or your favorite vanilla frosting. Yield: 12 servings.
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